Santos: Edson “Edinho” Cholbi do Nascimento, son of football legend Pele, turned himself in late Friday after being ordered by a Brazilian court to begin serving a nearly 13-year prison sentence for money laundering and drug trafficking.
Edinho who briefly played for his father’s former club Santos had so far avoided serving time while his case underwent a lengthy appeals process.
But on Thursday a judge reaffirmed the conviction, reduced Edinho’s original 2014 sentence from 33 years to 12 years and 10 months, and ordered him to begin serving time.
The 46-year-old former goalkeeper spoke to reporters before turning himself in at a police station in the Brazilian port city of Santos.
“There’s great frustration because I am being accused of money laundering, but I never did that,” he said, according to the G1 news portal.
Edinho – who was accused of laundering based on phone tap evidence – has said he will continue to fight the allegations and that his only contact with drug traffickers was as a drug user.
One of seven children of three-time world champion Pele, Edinho was first detained in 2005 following a police swoop on a drug trafficking gang. He served six months in prison but was then released on parole.